Micah was not happy for school to start this fall. I'd asked him a few times in the weeks before school began if he was ready, and he was so adamant in his "NO!" that I cringed at the thought of the impending fights in trying to get him up and dressed five days a week to catch the bus on time. The notes home in his daily planner in regards to what level of bad he was that day were also not a pleasant thought. Micah can be stubborn, and a wee bit more contrary than is healthy for any kid. The fact that he has no filter for things like "you shouldn't act like that in public" makes things so much harder for his teachers. A normal kid wouldn't throw a temper tantrum at school, in the 6th grade, because he's just too over school this week and it's only Tuesday. Micah does.
Ever the advocate for my son, I was desperate to find a way to make school more bearable for Micah this year. I even went as far as contemplating home schooling him, which is pretty much not ever going to be an option because he doesn't do much of anything that I ask him to do without much fussing and fighting and fake tears. Trying to get him to do one page of homework on occasion is a 40 minute struggle that has me wanting to just go find a quiet place somewhere for the next 2 days so that I can recover from the sheer battle of wills that went on. It was about this time that I remembered there was a girl in his previous school who only attended class a few days per week.
So there's this thing in the state of Pennsylvania (and perhaps elsewhere, too?) that if you have a doctor's note saying that your child cannot medically be in school more than X number of days per week, the state has to honor that. I could send Micah to school 3 days per week, and that would minimize his frustration and be a huge relief off my shoulders, knowing that I won't have to deal with the fallout of yet another bad day at school. The catch, the school said, was trying to get a doctor to actually write a letter stating such things. No worries, I have the best doc ever, and she was more than glad to help out. The largest problem we were facing when school started was deciding which days to send him, because a set schedule would be best for everyone.
I think it's because I had this plan in place that Micah decided he loved school this year. I'm not complaining in any sense, mind you. I am not sure I can adequately express how thrilled I am that he so willingly gets up for school in the mornings. In fact, if he's trying to pull the covers over his head and keep his eyes closed for just a few more minutes, all I have to do is say, "Linda and Mrs. P are waiting for you." For whatever odd reason, this will get him out of bed every day. He loves school this year. My mind is having a hard time with that, because the previous 6 years of his school career has been such a struggle for all involved.
I do have that letter, in the event that things go horribly wrong at some point in the year, but it comes with a very large Catch 22 that I didn't think about until after school started and I talked to his aide, Linda. She relies on Micah being in school full time as her sole income. If he were to be a part-time student, she would be employed part-time, and that wouldn't pay her bills. The possibility of losing Linda is not one we want to consider. She has been so amazing for Micah on so many levels that it's hard for me to even know what she does, much less convey it to you. Let's just hope that we don't need that letter, and that this new found love of school is not a temporary thing.